The Mothman: A Cryptid First Sighted in West Virginia


The Mothman is a legendary creature that was first sighted in the Point Pleasant area of West Virginia in 1966. The first newspaper report of the creature was published on November 16, 1966, in the Point Pleasant Register. It was titled “Couples See Man-Sized Bird…Creature…Something”.

The Mothman is described as a humanoid creature with wings and glowing red eyes. It is said to be between six and seven feet tall, with a wingspan of ten to fifteen feet. The creature is also known for emitting a high-pitched sound that is said to be extremely unsettling.

Since the first sighting, many people have reported seeing the Mothman, and it has become a part of West Virginia folklore. Some even believe that the creature is a harbinger of doom, as it was allegedly seen before the collapse of the Silver Bridge in 1967, which resulted in the deaths of 46 people. Despite numerous sightings and investigations, the true identity of the Mothman remains a mystery.

Origins of the Mothman

The Mothman is a creature that was first sighted in the small town of Point Pleasant, West Virginia in November 1966. The sightings of this creature continued until December 1967. During this time, hundreds of people claimed to have seen a bizarre creature that was the size of a man, but had wings more like a moth or insect and fiery red eyes.

First Sighting

The first sighting of the Mothman occurred on November 12, 1966 in front of five men who were digging a grave in Clendenin, West Virginia. The creature was described as a “brown human being” with wings. The creature then flew away, disappearing into the trees.

Young Couples Encounter

On November 15, 1966, two young couples from Point Pleasant—Roger and Linda Scarberry, and Steve and Mary Mallette—told police they had seen a large white creature whose eyes “glowed red”, standing at the side of the road near “the TNT area”, the site of a former World War II munitions plant. The creature then flew away, following their car, and the couples reported that it was able to keep up with them even at high speeds.

Newell Partridge Experience

Newell Partridge, a resident of Salem, West Virginia, reported an experience with the Mothman on November 15, 1966. He claimed that his television set began to malfunction and emit a loud noise, and his dog began to bark uncontrollably. Partridge then went outside with his dog to investigate and saw the Mothman perched on a nearby tree. The creature then flew away, and Partridge’s dog chased after it, never to return.

The origins of the Mothman are shrouded in mystery, and despite numerous sightings, the creature has never been captured or identified.

Physical Description

The Mothman is a humanoid creature that was first sighted in Point Pleasant, West Virginia in 1966. It is described as being around seven feet tall with a wingspan of ten feet or more. Its most distinguishing feature is its red glowing eyes, which have been reported by numerous witnesses.

According to eyewitness accounts, the creature has a muscular build and appears to be covered in fur or feathers. Its wings are described as being bat-like and it is able to fly at high speeds. Despite its size, the Mothman is said to be incredibly agile and able to move with great speed and grace.

While some have described the Mothman as being aggressive or malevolent, there have been no reports of it attacking humans. In fact, many witnesses have reported feeling a sense of awe or reverence in the presence of the creature.

Despite numerous sightings over the years, the Mothman remains a mysterious and elusive creature. Its true nature and origins are still unknown, and it continues to fascinate and intrigue those who study it.

The Mothman Prophecies

The Mothman Prophecies refer to a series of events that occurred in Point Pleasant, West Virginia, during the late 1960s. The events were chronicled in a book by John Keel, who investigated the sightings of the Mothman and other paranormal phenomena in the area.

Silver Bridge Collapse

One of the most tragic events associated with the Mothman Prophecies was the collapse of the Silver Bridge on December 15, 1967. The bridge spanned the Ohio River and connected Point Pleasant with Gallipolis, Ohio. The collapse resulted in the deaths of 46 people. Some people believe that the Mothman was responsible for the disaster, while others think that the sightings of the creature were a warning of the impending collapse.

UFO Sightings

In addition to the sightings of the Mothman, there were also reports of UFOs in the area. Some witnesses claimed to have seen strange lights in the sky, while others reported encounters with alien beings. John Keel believed that the Mothman and the UFO sightings were connected, and that they were part of a larger pattern of paranormal activity in the area.

Men in Black Encounters

Another strange phenomenon associated with the Mothman Prophecies was the appearance of Men in Black. These mysterious figures were said to dress in black suits and drive black cars. They would often visit witnesses of the Mothman and other paranormal events, and would intimidate them into silence. Some people believe that the Men in Black were government agents who were trying to cover up the truth about the Mothman and other paranormal phenomena.

Overall, the Mothman Prophecies remain a fascinating and mysterious chapter in the history of Point Pleasant and the surrounding area. While some people dismiss the sightings as hoaxes or misidentifications of natural phenomena, others believe that they are evidence of something much more profound and mysterious.

Possible Explanations

Sandhill Crane Theory

One of the most popular theories regarding the Mothman is that it could have been a Sandhill Crane. These birds are large and have a wingspan of up to seven feet, which could have been mistaken for the Mothman’s wings. Additionally, Sandhill Cranes have a red patch on their heads, which could have been misinterpreted as the creature’s glowing red eyes.

Owl Theory

Another popular theory is that the Mothman sightings could have been attributed to owls. Specifically, some researchers have suggested that the creature could have been a Barred Owl, which can stand up to two feet tall and has a wingspan of up to four feet. These owls also have distinctive dark eyes that could have been mistaken for glowing red eyes in the dark.

Alien Theory

Some people believe that the Mothman could be an extraterrestrial being. This theory suggests that the creature’s ability to fly and its unusual appearance could be explained by its alien origins. However, there is no concrete evidence to support this theory, and it is largely considered to be a fringe idea.


Another possibility is that the Mothman sightings were simply hoaxes. Some researchers have suggested that the initial sightings in Point Pleasant were the result of a prank or a hoax, which then snowballed into a larger phenomenon. However, it is unclear how this theory would explain the numerous sightings reported in other parts of the world.

Overall, the true identity of the Mothman remains a mystery. While there are many theories and ideas about what the creature could be, there is no definitive answer.

Mothman in Popular Culture

The Mothman has become a well-known figure in popular culture, inspiring a museum, a festival, and a film.

Mothman Museum

The Mothman Museum is located in Point Pleasant, West Virginia, where the creature was first sighted. The museum features exhibits on the history of the Mothman sightings, as well as other mysterious phenomena in the area. Visitors can see artifacts and memorabilia related to the Mothman, including newspaper clippings, eyewitness accounts, and artwork.

Mothman Festival

The annual Mothman Festival takes place in Point Pleasant, West Virginia, every September. The festival attracts thousands of visitors from around the world who come to celebrate the legend of the Mothman. The festival features live music, food vendors, and a variety of Mothman-themed activities, including a costume contest and a Mothman 5K run.

Mothman Prophecies Film

The Mothman Prophecies is a 2002 film starring Richard Gere, based on the book of the same name by John A. Keel. The film is a fictionalized account of the Mothman sightings and the events that followed. While the film takes some liberties with the facts, it helped to popularize the legend of the Mothman and introduce it to a wider audience.

Jeff Wamsley, a Point Pleasant native, is a leading authority on the Mothman and has written extensively on the subject. He is the founder of the Mothman Museum and has organized the annual Mothman Festival since its inception in 2002.

Legacy of the Mothman

The Mothman is a legendary creature that has become an integral part of West Virginia folklore. The creature was first sighted in 1966 by a group of gravediggers in Clendenin, West Virginia. Since then, there have been numerous sightings of the creature, and it has become a local legend in the area.

The Mothman is often described as a winged creature with glowing red eyes. Some people have speculated that it may be an extraterrestrial or supernatural being, while others believe it to be a cryptid. Despite the many sightings of the creature, there is no concrete evidence to support any of these theories.

Despite the lack of evidence, the legend of the Mothman has endured. It has been the subject of numerous books, documentaries, and even a Hollywood movie. The creature has become a cultural icon, and its image is often used to promote tourism in the area.

While the Mothman may remain a mystery, its legacy lives on. It has become an important part of West Virginia folklore, and its legend continues to capture the imagination of people all over the world.

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Steve is the creative force behind My Unique Tales, a blog dedicated to sharing captivating stories that explore the human experience in all its complexity. With a passion for writing and a talent for crafting engaging narratives, Steve's blog is a treasure trove of imaginative tales that transport readers to other worlds and challenge them to see things from new perspectives. From epic adventures to intimate character studies, Steve's stories are always thought-provoking and emotionally resonant. With a growing following of readers who appreciate his unique voice and creative vision, Steve is quickly becoming a rising star in the world of online storytelling.